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Disaster in Sikkim: Indian Army provides logistical aid to 1700 stranded tourists


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Gangtok: Indian Army continued to search for the missing soldiers as well as providing logistical support and assistance to some 1700 stranded tourists, including 63 foreign travellers, in the higher altitude of the Himalayan terrains of Sikkim since the disaster struck on October 4 in the northern district of this landlocked state, official sources said on Monday.

“Out of 23 Indian Army personnel, one was rescued alive on October 4, and eight bodies have been identified till now, and search for balance (remaining) missing soldiers continues,” the latest Defence release confirmed.

However, a Sikkim government communique on Saturday evening claimed that 19 Army personnel died of the total 30 dead recovered from the water body of the river Teesta.

The Defence communique said the “Troops of Tri Shakti Corps are providing assistance to 1700 tourists stranded in areas of Lachen, Lachung, Thangu, and Chungthang in North Sikkim. Food, medical aid, and communication facilities are being provided. With the weather remaining inclement, the Indian Army is making all efforts to keep the tourists safe till they are evacuated.”

Nineteen Indian Army personnel have died among the 30 confirmed deaths in Sikkim’s natural disaster following a cloudburst triggering flash flooding after the banks of the glacial-fed Lhonak lake broke open in north Sikkim and flooding the mighty Teesta river basin on October 4, a Sikkim government official statement said.

More than 80 people are still missing across Sikkim, and it is believed that most of them were swept away by the flooding of Teesta, sources said.

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